Congo: Urgent Need for Doctor

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We just got an urgent request for a short-term doctor and/or surgeon that could go to the Republic of the Congo in the new year. Jean-Pierre and Ginny are currently serving in the area of health care, and the doctor and surgeon they’re working with have left for the month of January.

If you know people who are qualified, and who might be available to go, please let them know about this opportunity. (Being able to communicate in French would be an asset.) They can get in touch with Rich at Home Office, either by e-mail (richp@efccm.org) or by phone (604.513.2183 or toll-free 1.877.888.9911).

Please pray for this need — it’s a critical component of the ministry we’re involved with in the country!

Middle East Outreach

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Can there be any doubt that the world’s attention is on the Middle East? It’s a hotbed of religious, political and military activity. The EFCCM has some ministry engagements within the Middle East. We need to exercise great caution; overt Christian evangelism is strictly forbidden. But needed.

I think it’s important for you to know some of what we’re up against. Muslims are offering money to impoverished Christians to convert to Islam. And sometimes it’s accepted. It’s hard to imagine that faith could be reduced to something that can be bought and sold, but there are several factors at work. From the top to the bottom, strong systems are in place that offer Muslims a place of privilege over those of other faiths in the area. For example, crimes committed against Christians aren’t as likely to be investigated or prosecuted by authorities, so violence against Christians can be carried out with relative impunity. Added to that, Christians are likely to be passed over for promotions, or even jobs. These condition exert serious pressure on Christians to convert to Islam, and some are succumbing. But some are also standing strongly for what they believe. And some Muslims are being led to question their own faith.

While the treatment of the Christian church in the Middle East (and many other places) is really an outrage, in spite of the hardships, the persecution and the systemic oppression, more people are choosing Christ than ever. They are hearing on the radio, and reading on the internet. They are asking questions by e-mail. And they are seeking answers that can only be found in Christ.

Please pray for peace and for wisdom. We do not want our ministry work to stir up antagonism and more strife. But both curious seekers and persecuted Christians need our help and support now more than ever!

Great Short Story from Lithuania

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This story is in a personal update from Nathan and Dawn serving in Lithuania (see their whole newsletter by clicking here). It’s the kind of story that I love to tell, as missionaries are surprised by the small, God-inspired moments that unfold around them.

“Built nearly 80 years ago, our small apartment building is quite a contrast from the towering red-brick complexes erected during the soviet era. Still, we have discovered that the cozy size doesn’t mean that we can just ring our neighbour’s doorbell and ask to borrow a cup of sugar. Though we offer quick hellos and polite conversation, our neighbours tend to keep to themselves. All of our neighbours, that is, except our sweet Valerija.

“Though they actually live in the building next to us, Valerija and her son Robert have been exceptionally gracious to us ever since our arrival. Her body shakes with age, her hearing is going, and her eyesight is poor, but Valerija is always ready to greet us with a smile. We were thrilled when they accepted our invitation to come to our apartment for tea one day. When Valerija arrived with her hair meticulously done up and her good clothes freshly pressed, I was glad we had set out the good teacups.

“Thankfully, Robert speaks a bit of English, and with the assistance of our big Lithuanian dictionary, we had an enjoyable evening talking about family, friends, and church. We already knew that Valerija attends mass at the large Catholic church in town, but we were thrilled to find that these two neighbours are truly our brother and sister in Christ. As we shared about our involvement in the local Free Christian church, Robert’s face began beaming. With great excitement, he explained to us that he had been praying every day that his neighbours would come to know Christ. He was so excited that God had given him neighbours who say the same prayers.

“Sitting in our living room talking about our hopes and prayers for Lithuania, the divisions between Catholic and Protestant disappeared. The most extraordinary part of our evening was when the four of us joined our hands and recited the Lord’s Prayer together. How incredible to know that despite our differences, we can unite our voices in prayer to God, knowing that he cares for each one of us.”

A World of Hope First Official Update

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I was just handed my first real World of Hope update. It was on a slick spreadsheet and everything! We’re already up to $2,255! This is a wonderful start.

Our deep gratitude goes out to those who celebrate and support missions.

Please keep in mind that if you’re planning to donate, to qualify for 2008 tax receipts we must receive your donation before January 1st.

Director Search Committee Invitation

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The Search Committee for the new EFCC Director of International Mission would like your help! (This is for the new person who will head up the EFCCM.) It’s looking for the best candidate for this very important job, and so would like to cast the net as wide as possible.

Please take a look at the details, and prayerfully imagine if you know someone who could fill this role. (The link offers specific contact info.)

Please remember to pray for this process. It’s going to have a sweeping impact on everything that we do here. Thanks!